Editor's desk: The difference between liking something and thinking it's good

Editor's desk: The difference between liking something and thinking it's good

I watch a lot of movies and TV shows. Not all of them are good. Not all of them have the most captivating actors, the most polished scripts, the most engaging direction, or the highest production values. Some of them are, to put it kindly, silly, awkward, rough around the edges, and in one way or another complete and utter rubbish. Yet, I love them. Likewise, there's are some beautiful, brilliant, magnificent works of art that I just don't like. Not one bit. Why is that?

Because, people. We can completely enjoy a modern Steven Seagal movie but not be able to stand a moment of Downton Abby. We can listen to hours of Miley Cyrus and not a minute of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. We can be endlessly fascinated by Android and bored to tears by Windows Phone. We can gorge ourselves on McDonald's and turn up our noses at The Fat Duck. And we can be enchanted by a Timberman and completely ignore Threes!.

The subjective measure of what we like is completely different than the objective measure of how good something is. Beyond that, what suits our mood and tastes at one moment can be wildly different than the effort and skill put into producing it.

All of this is fine. It's great. It's what makes us who we are — humans all dressed and coiffed and alive in wondrous diversity. It's fantastic, except when we choose to fight about it. Except when we forget that our personal tastes are just those — personal.

According to GigaOm, Netflix is testing out a way for me to hide my dumb Steven Seagal binges from my family and friends so I don't risk them mocking me. Apple lets you hide iTunes purchases and your web history already, and will be adding even more privacy guards in iOS 8, including Duck Duck Go so you can even hide your silly searches from Google.

There are obviously some occasions where you really want some things to remain private, but watching dumb movies, reading silly stories, and searching for nonsense — worrying about being judged by your peers for simply being a human being — shouldn't be one of them.

So you'll forgive me if I don't hide Arrow season 1 on Netflix or ABBA Gold on iTunes. If I pull out a Nexus 5 at CES. If I order a quarter-pounder with cheese (no, they're not called royals with cheese here!). And if I, on occasion, play Flappy Birds like nobody's business. Why is that?

Because, a person. And it makes me smile.

Changes coming to iMore!

I spent a lot of last week in meetings and doing behind-the-scenes planning. I hate that stuff and I love it. I hate not writing. I'm a writer. I have to write. I have to get this stuff out of my head and onto a page. But I love building things too, and building big things requires planning.

  • We've passed 30 million monthly readers on Mobile Nations, the community of sites iMore belongs to alongside Android Central, Connectedly, CrackBerry, and Windows Phone Central. That's an amazing number.
  • We've passed 8 million monthly readers on iMore. That's even more amazing to me. We're honored and humbled by your attention, and can't thank you enough for it.

We don't take that as a sign to slow down. Rather, we take it as a sign to double down.

  • Newsroom is doing a terrific job handling the industry stories that come our way every day. Derek Kessler has assembled a hell of a team and they're getting better and better every week. (And yes, Newsroom is still hiring, so if you're into tech writing and want to be part of the best team in mobile, read this and follow the directions at the bottom.
  • With Newsroom covering the news, the editors at iMore can concentrate more than ever on editorial. Even taking a quick look at what the features team put out this week amazes me. I couldn't be prouder. And they're doing it every week.

Yet there remains, day in, day out, stories that we're not covering, news and apps and content and accessories we're just not getting to.

Well, we're working very, very hard on changing that. We're working on something that will improve our daily coverage but stay digestible, that will let us cover more without adding to the noise and clutter, that will let those who are interested stop and take a look and find their way to more, but leave those who aren't interested to go on about their way. And we're doing it keeping in mind everything that I talked about at the top of this piece.

It's going to involve some big changes, and a lot of work for everyone here, mostly behind the scenes. But it's going to be worth it. It's going to be an amazing year. I can't wait for you all to see what we have planned! (And I can't wait to get back to writing!)

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Editor's desk: The difference between liking something and thinking it's good

20 Comments

Nah, there's already a Gizmodo. We want to be something unique. (Which should be obvious if you're a regular reader already :) )

Well, there are billions of people who are 100% shameless regarding the stuff they enjoy. I see people with Abba shirts, people reading Shades of Gray in the subway, people reading the dumbest newspapers known to mankind in public, even people not being ashamed of being filmed frenetically applauding in the worst talk shows...

The only problem is people trying to appear elitist, when they are not. If those really need elaborate technical solutions, or just any old shrink... Pffft.

agreed. i spend most of my time on CB but its super easy to jump back in forth with imore. took my 10 mins to figure that out on the new ac layout

The only thing that changed on AC was the header (the boxes on the very top — which we already have the older version of). What bugs you?

I don't like the blue thing at top. To me it's just to big. Also the site seems to load slower now but that could be on my end. I don't dislike it enough not to read the articles though. Mobile Nations has great information across the board.

Sent from the iMore App

Ditto on all points. And no, it's not just you: it does load slower, and the scrolling performance is very inconsistent...perhaps it works better on a tablet, but it just doesn't work well on a desktop.

Plus, the fact that the header bar is scroll-able violates the rule of "feature headers": when everything is featured, nothing is featured. Essentially, instead of highlighting certain articles, it is more like a horizontal way of scrolling through the same headings that you see when scrolling the site vertically--the common way to browse a page. Not to mention it doesn't mesh well aesthetically with the other MN sites.

I don't just mean to criticize as I work with web developers and know a lot of hard work and testing goes into changes like this. And I understand the need to refresh the design of web properties to ensure they remain engaging and project a positive brand image. But, it's important to clarify what problem a new UX/UI is trying to solve and to validate that problem with the target audience.

Something tells me we have disturbingly similar Pandora/Spotify/iTunes Radio setups...

(And if you are not old enough to know Tom Lehrer, seek him out)

I appreciate everyone's work on Mobile Nations. All of you are the reason I read your sites over all the other background noise out there. Keep up the great work!

I like the sound of the change that's coming.

My only hope (and this is based on what Android Central have done in their revamp) is that the (very helpful) little, black inter-site Mobile Nations navigation bar along the top is retained.

I dip in/out of each of the phone sites in MN and without that little black navigation bar, I now dip into AC much less as getting out is slow....

Please keep it... [Oh and Allyson's 'How to...' series are really helpful, especially as I am new to iPhones.]

Cheers and keep it up?

Question - more MobileNations than iMore: Will you continue to primarily cover the consumer market or might there be some plans in place to reach into the enterprise? I've long felt that a missing component of the brand - especially since the push to unify platforms under the Nations banner. At one time you guys even had a podcast that survived all of maybe two episodes. I inquired at the time about possibly assisting with enterprise mobile (or whatever it was called at the time) but never heard back. I'm not necessarily looking for that now but definitely curious to see if there may be any effort in that direction. Between all of the first and third party efforts to solidify each platform for business use there should be plenty to talk aboot.